Martens string band at Elks

From concert to campfire, his life is rich with music.

JIM LAMBERT

JIM LAMBERT

From concert to campfire, his life is rich with music.

Since the first sparks flew at age nine, when he discoverd the guitar, Brett Martens has dedicated much of his life to music and his instrument.

Martens is one of Vancouver Island’s most astounding young guitar players. He is currently touring with the Marc Atkinson Trio and leading his new band, the Brett Martens String Band. His zeal for music is addictive, passionate, and fun; his playing has been described as enlivening, creative and exciting.

 

The band plays this Thursday from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Elks Hall on Sixth Street in Courtenay.

 

The Brett Martens String Band follows the sound of Django Reinhardt and the Quintette du hotclub de France, a musical style pioneered in the 1930s when a very inventive gypsy living in France discovered American jazz. Known as ‘manouche’ or ‘gypsy jazz,’ the sound is all acoustic and rich with delightful rhythms, melody and improvisation.

 

Martens states, “When first listening to Django, I was pleasantly perpelexed; I had never heard anything like it! Guitar players, composers, improvisers and the like have much to thank from this timeless, two-fingered genius.”

Reinhardt lost the use of some fingers on his fret hand, which was burned when he was young.

 

The String Band plays Martens’ original compostions,

alongside an array of tunes from different eras and styles, all interpreted to fit a small string band.

 

Martens’s compositions pull from his upbringing in classical and jazz, and dip into musette, bluegrass, Latin and “just about anything that swings.” Along with the originals, the band plays many standards of the “swing” era — anything from romantic ballads to “dance on the table” party swing. Be it for the intellectual or the fire of the gypsy … the music is moving.

 

Joining Martens are some fine musicians in their own right — Jim Lambert on rhythm guitar and Tim Croft on upright bass.

Lambert is on the top of the list for gigs in the Comox Valley; a great lead player, as well as solid rhythm guitarist. “The heart of the groove in manouche, lies with the drummer … the rhythm guitar.”

Croft has been the backbone for many groups over the years, and it shows. “His sound is big and his ears even bigger; just what you want in a great bass player.”

In the gulf of Vancouver Island lies the isle of Hornby.  Here, Martens lives with his wife and daughter.

“Writing, touring, playing and teaching are a big part of my life, and much inpsiration comes from living in such a wonderful community,” he says. “When I think music, I think celebration of life, love, sadness and joy … everything summed up into 12 notes with a good tempo.”

— Brett Martens

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Courtenay’s Ace Brewing Company’s Jet Fuel IPA was chosen for second place in the annual Canadian Brewing Awards. Photo submitted
Courtenay brewery takes silver medal at Canadian Brewing Awards

“It’s huge - they are the biggest awards in Canada that you can get (in the brewing industry).”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

The Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District board is concerned about having to fund more than just hospitals like the one in the Comox Valley. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Comox Strathcona board worried over funding more than hospitals

Island Health points to seniors care to reduce demand at acute care sites

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Courtenay area this weekend

Snow to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

Former town councillor and long-time volunteer John Marinus was presented with the Freedom of the Town in 2017 by then-Mayor Paul Ives. Facebook/Town of Comox photo
Five-term councillor, long-serving volunteer John Marinus passes away

He was presented the Freedom of the Town award in 2017

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Disgraced Kelowna social worker faces another class-action lawsuit

Zackary Alphonse claims he was not informed of resources available to him upon leaving government care

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

SD62 bus driver Kerry Zado said it’s common to see drivers lose their patience and pass by his bus while he’s picking up students during the morning commute. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Concerned Island school bus driver says people still pass while red lights flashing

All buses in Sooke School District outfitted with stop sign cameras

The cost of potentially counting deer regionwide was among the issues that prompted Capital Regional District committee members to vote against pursuing a greater CRD role in deer management. (Black Press Media file photo)
Expanded deer management a non-starter for Greater Victoria

Capital Regional District committee maintains current level of support

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

The Wachiay Friendship Centre hopes to convert its parking lot into a building with living units and a cultural gathering space. Scott Stanfield photo
Friendship Centre proposes affordable housing project on its Courtenay property

The Wachiay Friendship Centre hopes to turn its parking lot at 17th… Continue reading

Most Read